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[Computers are at the heart of most activities nowadays. A processor is the central component of a computer, but nowadays, we can find processors embedded in many other components, such as game consoles, consumer electronic devices and cars, just to mention a few.]
[Caches store recently accessed program data and instructions, in the hope that they will be needed in the near future, based on the observation that program memory accesses exhibit significant spatial and temporal locality. By buffering such frequently accessed data in a small and fast...
[The instruction fetch unit is the responsible for feeding the processor with instructions to execute, and thus, it is the first block where instructions are processed. The fetch unit mainly consists of an instruction cache and the required logic to compute the fetch address.]
[The purpose of the intruction decode stage is to understand the semantics of an instruction and to define how this instruction should be executed by the processor. It is in this stage that the processor identifies:]
[Two main activities are performed at this pipeline phase: register renaming and instruction dispatch. The former has the purpose of removing false dependences due to reuse of registers, whereas the latter consists of reserving some resources that the instruction will require to be executed.]
[The issue is the pipeline stage in charge of issuing instructions to the functional units for execution. There are two main types of issue schemes: in order and out of order. The former one steers the instructions in program order, whereas the latter steers instructions out of order as soon as...
[It is in the execute stage that the program results are calculated. In this stage, an instruction’s input operands (also known as source operands) are send to the processor’s computational units along with the operation encoded in the instruction. The processor operates on the sources of the...
[Most current processors are based on an execution model based on sequence of instructions where one instruction is executed right after the previous one completes. Therefore, processors behave as if they would be executing instructions one after the other in the original sequential order ....
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